It’s…..

“Well Dad its ….”

All I had to do was bake 12 fairy cakes. Even I can do that surely. All was going so well. The cake mix passed the Hawklad eating it from the bowl test.

I just had to put it into the oven for 12 minutes and remember to take it out. No need for a timer, I just have to focus for 12 minutes. I can do that. I can avoid being distracted.

TWENTY EIGHT minutes later….Pants…..out the abominations came from the oven. A tad CRISPY.

Attempt two, this time with TIMER.

And the results. The great taste test from Hawklad.

“Well it’s not terrible”

I will settle for that. Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsey, that’s a review.

Just a few weeks to raise my game for the 2022 Great Bloggers Bake-off. Mel has all the details and all the proper, delicious baking results.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/09/24/so-many-questions/

If I can have a go, surely you can. You know it makes sense.

It’s back

It’s been too long.

Time to don your aprons, time to get passionately whisking, time to tend your cobblers. The Great Bloggers Bake-off is coming back on the 15th and 16th of October. You know it makes sense.

More details can be found at Mel’s blog.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/09/20/more-details-to-follow/

So in the buildup to the big weekend I will be donning the full HazMat protective gear and baking an item a week. This weekend Frankenstein’s Monster will be a Sponge Cake, sounds simple. However let’s remember some of the high end cuisine this kitchen has yielded in the past.

What could possibly go wrong.

Swiss Sunday

Must be time for another Sunday walk down memory lane. A virtual trip to alpine heaven. SWITZERLAND. This one takes us back to 2012, where did those years go.

A family adventure started with a certain young child wanting to try this cool looking drink, available at the train station. I can’t think why he wasn’t allowed it….

The spectacular Aare Gorge is a just under 2km long with a narrow, raised walkway along one side of the vertical cliffs. It lies just a short distance from the infamous Reichenback Falls where Sherlock Holmes fell into the abyss with Moriaty. At times the Gorge narrows to just a few feet wide. All this accompanied by the sound of a deafening river, crashing through the the narrow rock gap below. Definitely not a place for claustrophobics, but definitely an absolute thrill ride. At night it must be a truly terrifying place. Tiny Hawklad absolutely loved it, he was convinced that monsters and sea creatures must live here, sadly he didn’t managed to capture any on his little toy camera. But it’s still a location he talks about today. Maybe soon he can go back again. Let’s hope so.

A rust bucket

A trip out and more on that another day.

But on that trip we came across what can only be described as a RUST BUCKET. Just parked on an average street, a normal busy street. As we walked to our destination this relic jumped out, sadly I think it’s jumping days have long since gone. It’s like it’s been left here for decades, forgotten, slowly being reclaimed by its surroundings.

I don’t feel too bad about my car now. No more can I call that a rust bucket. We have just found a world class heap of RUST.

I figured something out

It was time to live life on the edge. We finally charged up one of Hawklad’s birthday presents, a remote control helicopter. Not one of the professional ones, this one was surprisingly tiny made out of what appeared to be the thinnest of plastics and the most brittle of metals. It was one of those Amazon ‘80% off’ deals that entices you in for that one extra present, yet never quite explains to you that basically there is a really good reason this thing is so CHEAP.

Anyway after a few months it was time to give this helicopter its inaugural and probably only flight. The instructions talked optimistically of 15 minutes battery flying time, yet it gave off the impression of a single use item. As Hawklad said

“Well if it’s going to crash and burn on its first flight, let’s make it spectacular and film it”.

He remembers….

This is not our first dabble into the world of remote control, cheap toys.

There was the rally car that split in two when it hit the apple tree.

There was the toy drone that launched itself over the house and imbedded itself in the neighbour’s drive. It ended up as flat as a pancake.

There was the first helicopter then smashed into the house at a Warp Speed 10 and smashed into a thousand pieces.

And there was the so called unbreakable hovering glowing ball that had one uncontrolled hop before it smashed into the fence. It was then definitely anything other than unbroken.

So we were understandably not very hopeful. But you know what. The helicopter actually flew. It hovered. It landed. Yes it had a few heavy landings but it SURVIVED.

It was unmarked when the batteries ran out. Here is the really cool bit that made me smile. Hawklad took the remote control and flew it himself. Normally he backs away and watches others take control. He often just watches me do it. But on this day he had confidence in himself. Yes I had to check that we were fully alone first but he did it. He enjoyed it.

Yes that lawn has taken a hit from a family of moles, a badger and an excavating pup…

And here is what I figured out. Actually this was the first time that he took the controls, the first time I could convince him to have more fun doing than just watching. The first time he could overcome his fears of failure. So what did I figure out then…..

I’ve had the controls every single time one of the toys has crashed and burned. Muppet Dad is a liability. Toys last when I watch and don’t play. OH PANTS.

So my job is now paying for things and then most definitely just filming when they are enjoyed…….

It is July…..

It’s Friday…

It’s Friday in JULY…

It’s the last day of the school year.

And WOW am I going to have a WHINGE. A RIGHT WHINGE. A Guinness Book of Records size WHINGE. Yes a REALLY REALLY REALLY big WHINGE. But this time it’s not about School. It’s not about my so called Football Team. It’s not about the rising price of everything. It’s not about clothes manufacturers making the size of clothes I normally buy, smaller so I don’t fit in them anymore….. It’s not about U2. Its nit about Alvin and The Chipmunks. It’s not even about the incompetent, corrupt Government.

It’s July. I will say it again. It’s Pigging JULY ……

So how come someone sent a CHRISTMAS related email this morning. Castle Howard you have officially made the NAUGHTY LIST.

NO I do not want to buy tickets today for Christmas.

The Elf’s are hibernating. Santa and Mrs Santa are on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Rudolf and buddies are busily making little reindeers in a field somewhere hot and steamy. It’s not Christmas for another 156 days, SO WHY have I got a Christmas Email in JULY.

BAH HUMBUG………

Out to get me

I was just a few steps away from this sea of purple. It’s was warm, yes Yorkshire can do that sometimes. Deep Blue Skies, rare but yes it can happen even here. So I decided to do the morning yoga (yep I’ve gone full on hippy) under the shade of the apple tree. I found a small patch of grass which hadn’t been dug up by our active tunnelling Mr Mole and off I went twisting, bending and groaning.

A few moments later the helpful yoga instructor blasting out of the iPhone encouraged everyone to undertake a form of torture. Wrapping one leg around an arm, doing the same on with the other leg and then balancing on what limbs remained still free to move. I might have misheard her….. Anyways it wasn’t a pretty site. I felt like an iPhone which had just been permanently bent out of shape. Funnily enough we have a story on that one to come…. I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing, this is just brutal.

Is yoga out to get me….

Yes it is….

A few hours later we were walking the mad dog down one of the narrow village lanes when a car headed our way. Hawklad went one way and I headed towards the other fence. I recognised the driver and waved. Unfortunately at the very same moment I stepped in a rabbit hole and suddenly entered into an out of control stumble, culminating in me trying to fall nose first over the fence. I clearly gave the driver a really good giggle. And here’s the thing. The driver is a yoga instructor. I’m clearly on the yoga naughty list.

Yoga is out to get me.

Downton

The village went all Downton Abbey like last weekend. Can’t think why 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Bizarrely we watched Downton the other night. Hawklad is rather taken by the whole thing. It’s fictionally set somewhere round here but filmed mostly outside of Yorkshire. Just like the cool start to an American Werewolf in London, that spooky Yorkshire Pub and foggy Moor was randomly filmed in Wales – clearly real Yorkshire is even TOO scary for a Horror Movie. The Earl, his family and servants keep visiting places right around us. It is most unsettling when they look nothing like the real place. They went riding just a few miles from us and I had a thought, I hope I remembered to pick up the mad dog’s morning constitutional poo. Would hate for the good noble family horse shoes to step in that.

It’s been one of those few days. Actually it’s been one of those few weeks. Not enough sleep, school issues, work issues, life issues, just ISSUES. Never stopping, running around in ever decreasing circles and actually achieving absolutely nothing. Where do those 24 hours go…..

So I walked through the village looking at the bunting while thinking, odds on that our mad dog will at some stage try to pull all that lot down and then bury it in our front lawn. Out of nowhere a villager stuck his head out of the village hall and shouted, “When are you bringing the cucumbers for the sandwiches”. This villager could have well been a head butler in a past life. A head butler with remarkably bad eyesight as his next words demonstrated. “Oh I’m sorry, you are not Margaret…”. Never been mistaken for a Margaret before. Never even mistaken for a woman. Even when I dressed in a full on and very well ventilated French Can Can costume and ended up walking through a town centre searching for the Uni Party, I was DEFINITELY NOT ladylike MOST DEFINITELY not mistaken for a woman.

Issues with Horses

Hawklad was playing online with his best friend so I had an afternoon to burn. Let’s go for a local walk.

I have issues with HORSES. Always have. Some say its because they like me for some reason but I know differently. The truth. They are after me.

As a child I once went to Africa to visit my sister. At one stage I was asked to stand next to a horse so my family could take a CINE film. Remember those…. As I stroked this particular fella, much laughter ensued. The horse literally ate my T-shirt. From then on the vendetta took hold. A few years later I was trying to get into a Football Stadium to see Newcastle get beat again. Stood in the queue chomping on a chocolate bar when a police horse stood on my foot. As I spun round in pain another police horse ate my Mars Bar……

The theme continued. I was walking on Dartmoor when a wild pony pinched my sandwich……

If only it was always that end. I was walking through a city centre to a meeting one afternoon when I came across a crowd. A new Betting Shop was opening and the famous Racehorse, Red Rum was the guest of honour. I found my self in a queue which I thought led to a free T-shirt but no, it was the queue to stand next to the great horse. I patted the huge horse with some trepidation and he repaid me by crapping on my shoe….

See they have issues with me. Maybe it’s because they know that I once voted for that horse loving movie, The Godfather as my favourite soundtrack ever. They know….

So on this particular grey Yorkshire afternoon I found myself walking across a field when over the hill a pack of ravenous beasts appeared. They came closer….

And came closer…

And closer….

And closer….

And sensing blood, even closer….

I was surrounded. I now knew what it felt like for Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum to be surrounded by a pack of blood thirsty Jurassic Raptors.

And remembering the best Jurassic Park survival strategy, I legged it. And when I got back home guess what. I had stood in horse poo….. See they have issues with me.

Swimming

Surely even I can swim across this mighty river.

“Are you sure Dad, your not exactly fish like”

I know but it’s probably just about within the max of my swimming range.

“Dad the bath is the max of your swimming range…..”

But I am a bit of a sporting super being, I could probably jump across the stream.

“Really Dad”

I think so, I am built for sporting excellence. Some say I have a passing resemblance to Thor 🤣🤣🤣🤣

“Maybe the Thor that had cheese puffs flowing through his veins but you definitely have a sure fire resemblance to Fat Tony from The Simpsons”

*******Harsh but fair*********